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    TikTok Is Blowing Up Over This Woman Who Might Become A Millionaire From The "Random" Subway Art She Purchased

    "Maybe I fell for an elaborate tourist trap, or maybe I made one of the best decisions of my life."

    You truly never know what you might find in the NYC subway. Case in point: One woman purchased artwork that could potentially be worth millions, for the low price of only $120.

    Colleen Alexander was heading home from work one night when she stumbled upon an art vendor selling graffiti artwork that resembled pieces created by Banksy, an anonymous artist whose work is valued in the millions.

    TikTok: @colalex

    "I was definitely familiar with Banksy and his story and social message/cultural critiques of art and the art world, but I did not follow him or his history very closely," she told BuzzFeed. "I always appreciated his roots as a graffiti artist who believed art was for the public."

    After initially passing over the art, Colleen decided to head back and ended up purchasing two for $60 each.

    TikTok: @colalex

    "I went back to get these pieces out of a pure gut feeling," Colleen told BuzzFeed. "I have never felt such a rush from street art before, and never felt called to buy a piece quite as strongly as I felt called to this one."

    Once she got home, Colleen decided to record her story to share on TikTok in a series of videos that have now gone viral.


    Maybe I fell for an elaborate tourist trap, or maybe I made the best decision of my life #banksy #art

    ♬ original sound - Colleen

    "I decided to share the video on TikTok out of pure excitement," she said. "I had already called several friends that evening to tell them my story, but I was still so full of shock and wonder that I wanted to share it more."

    TikTok: @colalex

    The original TikTok sharing her story now has nearly 8 million views. Colleen has since posted videos covering everything from the authentication process, to returning to the subway stop where she initially bought the pieces, to the influx of DMs she's been getting from people who want to buy the Banksy art from her.

    In case you're reading this and wondering why Banksy is such a big deal, I've gotcha covered.

    To be honest, nobody actually knows who Banksy is. He's a British artist who anonymously travels around the world, pulling elaborate stunts and giving social commentary through his graffiti-style work.


    His art ranges from custom bulletproof vests (like this one worn at Glastonbury!)... murals that comment on current events...

    A mural depicting the famous painting Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer but with the added twist of having her wear a face mask
    Ben Birchall - Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images a shop that never actually opens.

    Banksy's art can sell for millions, with one of his pieces selling for a record $25.4 million — and that was after the work had been destroyed by a shredder built into the frame, in one of the artist's most infamous stunts.

    View this video on YouTube


    This isn't the first time Banksy has secretly sold art in New York. In 2013, he sold spray-painted pieces (that are very similar to the ones Colleen snagged!) for $60 at a stall near Central Park. At the time, each piece was valued at $31,000, although many believe they would be worth far more today.

    In order to find out if the art is legit, Colleen will need to have the pieces authenticated through Pest Control, the office that handles all of Banksy's paperwork.

    One piece of art is a rat with a parachute and the other is Mona Lisa wearing headphones and a high-powered weapon
    TikTok: @colalex

    The process typically involves providing written testimony, as well as photo evidence. 

    It turns out that making those TikToks will come in handy if Colleen goes through the authentication process. "To authenticate them on Pest Control, you have to supply a huge amount of detail as to how you acquired the paintings, so I recorded myself telling the basics of the story so I would not forget anything if one day I decide to authenticate them," Colleen said.

    TikTok: @colalex

    Colleen doesn't currently have a timeline for when, or if, she is actually going to authenticate the art. "The value is in the experience and the emotion, not the authentication," she wrote in a TikTok comment. 

    Colleen told BuzzFeed she has been blown away by the response to her story.

    TikTok: @colalex

    "One TikTok commenter summarized that it is rare as an adult to have moments of such childlike wonder, and I couldn’t agree more," she said. "As we get older, we experience things for the first time less and less often. I am so thrilled to allow people to share in this experience of pure excitement, hope, joy, and a first of maybe discovering Banksy!"

    While many people have since gone searching through the subways to find the potential Banksy art, Colleen said one of the biggest takeaways from her Banksy story is not the potential monetary value of the work, but the way it has reminded her of the importance of seeking new experiences.


    Reply to @doribcomeseeme Filled with joy, thank you so much #banksy #love #empathy

    ♬ original sound - Colleen

    "Instead of encouraging everyone to go searching for Banksy, I'd encourage them to be open to discovering something new," she told BuzzFeed.

    For more updates on Colleen's Banksy story, you can follow her on TikTok.

    If you want to learn more about Banksy, you can check out his Instagram or his website.

    TikTok videos not playing for you? You might need to change the settings on your device — here's how.